Title: MIRABELLE I
Featuring: Corvo Alpha
Date: Tues, August 1
Location: Somewhere in Southern California

Head pressed against the pane of glass, she mindlessly eyes the beads of water streaming down and across it. Whatever her aunt was preaching to her in the moment was drowned out by the low roar of the wet road racing beneath them and the earbuds plugging her ears. She pressed them in a little tighter with her index fingers and laid her head back against the window with a sigh.

She couldn’t wait to be back home. Gram wasn’t the easiest person to live with… but anything would be better than Aunt Mimi’s oppressive prison. The west coast felt like a foreign country and this felt like the longest summer ever. Noting a change in her aunt’s delivery, Mirabelle lazily pulled her right earbud from her ear.

AUNT MIMI:
–ou’re not even fourteen years old and you think you’ve got it all figured out! Well, let me te–

Plugging the earbud back in, she dropped her head on the glass for dramatic effect, ignoring the sustained drone of her Aunt’s voice as best she could. How much longer do I have to deal with this?, she wondered. Lifting her head from the pane and now pulling her left bud from her ear, she worked to break through Mimi’s monologue. Mira struggled to keep the sass from her voice.

MIRABELLE:
I’m so so sorry that I’m such a disappointment to you. Pretty soon, I’ll be out of your hair.

Mimi clenched the wheel almost as hard as she clenched her teeth. 

AUNT MIMI:
The only thing that’s disappointed me is your attitude! You’ve been incredibly sour these last few weeks and it isn’t fair to the people who cross your path!

MIRABELLE:
Well, maybe I’m a reflection of my environment.

Mimi snickered to herself.

AUNT MIMI:
Maybe you’re determined to spend your summer being miserable!

Pushing a lock of brown hair behind an ear, Mirabelle glared at her aunt, shifting her weight in the seat.

MIRABELLE:
You’re going to pretend you don’t know why I’m upset?!

Flicking the directional, Mimi shifted lanes with a glance over her left shoulder - then back to the road.

AUNT MIMI:
Is this about that again?

Mira turned back to her window, laying her head against the pane once more. For the briefest of moments, the thump in her chest matched time with the swipe of the windshield wipers. She felt a small fire smoldering in her stomach.

MIRABELLE:
Maybe it is.

For a long stretch there was quiet, broken only by the brief clicking of a directional signal whilst Mimi changed lanes. Finally, the elder broke the silence, measuring the words as they came.

AUNT MIMI:
I recognize that you might not appreciate the stance I have taken on this subject. However…

Another toggle of the directional, another lane switch.

AUNT MIMI:
I only want what’s best for you. And that subject–

Mira snapped her head back toward her aunt.

MIRABELLE:
That “subject” is my dad.

The thrum of the windshield-wipers dominated the small cabin.

AUNT MIMI:
Your father has let you down, time and time again. Your mother -- my sister -- wouldn’t abide me standing by, watching as your heart gets broken over and over again. Sitting by while that monster–

With a groan and a sigh, Mirabelle plugged her left earbud back in her ear and turned back to the window once more. The eyes of her reflection welled with tears behind its eyeglasses.

AUNT MIMI:
And I know that you can hear me!I know you are upset, you’re confused, you’re–

The fire inside her exploded.

MIRABELLE:
Don’t TELL ME what I am! Don’t tell me who my dad is! You have no idea!

Mimi flicked the turn signal and coasted onto the offramp.

AUNT MIMI:
I know a lot more than you think, young lady. I know that you’ve got an… unconventional family. I know that, despite the hardships you’ve endured, that you have people in your life that actually do care about you and love you. People that actually show up for you. People that are active in your life. And I know that your father has not been that person for a long, long, long time.

Mimi broke to a stop at a traffic light, the car’s interior suddenly aglow in red.

AUNT MIMI:
I know that my mother – your grandmother – has often encouraged you to reconnect with your dad. I know that crazy Uncle of yours has done the same… but, darlin’, I’m going to give it to you straight.

Green. Mimi moved her foot from brake to gas.

AUNT MIMI:
Your father is never going to be the man you want him to be. I’m sorry, but it’s true.

Mirabelle turned back out the passenger window, rain streaming down. Uncontrolled.

AUNT MIMI:
He was never the man my sister needed him to be, that’s for sure. 

Mirabelle wiped the tears from her cheeks with one swift motion, the back of her sleeve quickly damp. She forced her voice to sound unmoved, but failed.

MIRABELLE:
Gram says you never even met my dad.

Mimi answered with a nod.

AUNT MIMI:
She’s right. But I know all I need to know.

Mira pulled her phone from her pocket. A notification on the home screen draws her eye. DEFIANCE is coming to Philadelphia. Just a few hours drive from her Gram’s house. Just a few months away.

MIRABELLE:
Well… I have met him. And… maybe I want to know more.

From there, Aunt Mimi started a whole new monologue. Mira recognized the theme and was quick to plug her ears with her earbuds once more. The rain continued to fall. Mirabelle tried to count each drop, focusing on anything other than how she felt. She thumbed the volume up on her phone and sunk into the car’s seat, pressing her head against the window once more. 

Even over her focus, over the hum of the wet road, over the thrum of the wipers, over the drive of the music… she hears her aunt and clenches her eyes closed tight.

AUNT MIMI:
That man will only let you down.

Black.



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